US attorney calls it a “watershed moment” in the fight against tax evasion.
Wegelin, the oldest bank in Switzerland, has been fined $57.8 million for helping wealthy Americans dodge taxes. After paying these fines the bank, which was founded in 1741, will “cease to operate as a bank.” According to Newser, bank executives have admitted to helping 100 Americans avoid taxation on over $1 billion.
Weglen is the first foreign bank to ever plead guilty to charges such as these. A US attorney stated that,
[Wegelin] willfully and aggressively jumped in to fill a void that was left when other Swiss banks abandoned the practice due to pressure from US law enforcement.
Bank executives were indicted in February but chose to skip court initially, causing the bank to be declared a fugitive from justice. There are still charges pending against three individual executives as well.